Speaking at Aristocrat’s annual general meeting, Croker revealed the company will establish a third operating business to oversee the online RMG space, which will sit alongside slot machine division Aristocrat Gaming and social gaming business Pixel United.
The third brand will be led by Aristocrat Gaming CEO Mitchell Bowen, who will be supported by a leadership team consisting of internal and external appointments. Following Bowen’s move, Hector Fernandez has been named as the new CEO of Aristocrat Gaming.
The move forms part of Aristocrat’s build and buy approach which will see the company invest heavily in building its own real-money platform, while seeking out the necessary acquisitions to speed up the process.
The business had previously tried to enter the online space when it agreed to acquire technology giant Playtech last year. Last month, Croker stated that the business remained undeterred in its pursuit of online growth opportunities following the collapse of that deal.
Croker said: “Achieving a scaled position in online RMG will be a medium-term effort. It will take sustained investment over a number of years. However, our record shows that Aristocrat knows how to successfully scale businesses. We will apply a similar mix of effective organic and inorganic investment, and financial and operational rigour to this task, under Mitchell’s leadership and aligned to shareholders’ interests.
“We have clear advantages in our powerful product portfolio, strong customer and regulator relationships, full financial optionality and strategic rigour. We are excited to be wasting no time in implementing our plans, and initiating investment in the current business. We will provide more detail on our strategy and key priorities at our half-year results in May.”
Aristocrat reported revenue figures of $4.70bn (£3.50bn/€4.19bn) for its financial year which ended on 30 September 2021, representing a 14% increase on the previous year. Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) amounted to $1.50bn, up 43%.
Profit after tax came to $865.0m, an 81% increase on the year prior and just 3% below the figure from 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Gaming revenue from the Americas increased 46%, with profit totalling $729.0m.
Aristocrat chairman Neil Chatfield added: “Throughout the year, Aristocrat continued to execute our established growth strategy, and focussed on delivering strong operational performance through outstanding people, product, and capability.
“We also continued to invest for future growth in our two globally operating business units – Aristocrat Gaming and Pixel United – while further enhancing earnings diversity and sustaining our performance momentum.”